Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi named No 1 athlete in US surpassing Michael Jordon

Poll further shared that Messi has been more popular in US since 2021 compared to Cristiano Ronaldo

By Web Desk
February 26, 2024
Inter Miami football player Lionel Messi. — AFP/File

Star Argentinian footballer and Inter Miami's captain Lionel Messi has become the most popular athlete in the United States, surpassing legendary athletes such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tiger Woods, according to a poll conducted by SSRS, Essentially Sports reported.

It is the first time in 30 years that a soccer player has topped the charts.


According to SSRS, players like Jordan, Woods, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, and Tom Brady have topped the list every year since 1995.

Messi's announcement of his merger with Inter Miami in June 2023 saw an increase in the US Major League Soccer (MLS) fan base from 35.3% to 37%.

The poll further shared that Messi has been more popular in the US since 2021 compared to Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 36-year-old "La-Pulga's" popularity increased to 9.7% after he won the 2022 World Cup. Since the beginning of 2023, the graph has continued to grow to 14.7% and took a big jump to 21.3% after he signed for David Beckham‘s soccer franchise.

Meanwhile, for Ronaldo, the graph has been low since 2022 and remains steady at just 5%.

According to reports, Messi's admission to the Inter Miami team has also skyrocketed its value from $600 million to an astonishing $1.03 billion.

The same polling site also found that Inter Miami has emerged as America's favourite MLS club, beating out the LA Galaxy, previously co-owned by David Beckham.